On Thursday, March 3, 2022, His Royal Highness participated in the 100th anniversary celebrations of the Niels Bohr Institute and the Niels Bohr Nobel Prize held at the Copenhagen City Hall in Copenhagen.
During today’s celebrations the future king of Denmark presented the Niels Bohr Medal of Honor to Dr. Jun Ye and Dr. David Nelson. HRH Crown Prince Frederik also gave a speech:
“Today we mark two landmark events that are inextricably linked – the centenary of Niels Bohr’s reception of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1922, and the establishment of what we know today as the Niels Bohr Institute. Happy Anniversary!
Furthermore, I am pleased to be able to take part in the Niels Bohr Institute’s tradition of awarding medals of honor to two researchers who have exceptionally contributed pioneering research in their respective fields.
The story of Niels Bohr and the Niels Bohr Institute is the story of scientific endeavor; about making the unknown known; with mathematical formulas and ingenious experiments / observations to seek an understanding of the world all the way to where language ends.
With its research, the Niels Bohr Institute has achieved 4 Nobel Prizes out of a total of 9 at the University of Copenhagen, which in itself is exceptional.
To this day, the institute continues to lift the legacy of Niels Bohr, which is about attracting the finest talents, about creating a young, vibrant and informal environment, where open discussion and free exchange of ideas are paramount.
Niels Bohr’s atomic model from 1913, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1922, was radical, as it contradicted key elements of classical physics. It was not just a new theory but a whole new kind of science.
Niels Bohr was 27 years old and a teaching assistant when he wrote three groundbreaking dissertations on the atomic model. It was a one-man performance of format.
Niels Bohr is not only admired for his atomic model. Through the establishment of the Department of Theoretical Physics – which at first unofficially, but soon officially became known as the Niels Bohr Institute – Bohr helped to pave the way for a scientific revolution in the form of the advent of quantum mechanics.
The first quantum mechanics was devised at the Niels Bohr Institute and revolutionized the physical description of the world and, through its rapid development, has made significant technological advances possible for the benefit of all mankind.
In the 20s to well into the 60s, Niels Bohr created an internationally leading research environment on Blegdamsvej, which quickly attracted some of the sharpest brains in the whole world.
It is still an integral part of the department’s self-understanding that science is very much a team effort. It is about striving for excellence and motivating and inspiring the new generations of physicists.
The UN has designated 2022 the International Year of Basic Sciences and Sustainable Development and writes in its presentation for the year that: “The basic sciences, guided by curiosity, are a perfect model for a development that is sustainable: through their scientific curiosity, each generation increases the pool of knowledge built by their predecessors, bringing more resources for future generations to seek solutions to the problems they will face. This is the opposite of what we are doing today with the planet’s natural resources ”.
The link between basic research and passing on one’s knowledge to new generations, which can build on and challenge established truths, is to a large extent a value base that the Niels Bohr Institute shares.
Intensive research in the understanding of e.g. Climate change, research into new materials and quantum technologies are basic elements in the Niels Bohr Institute’s research, which will contribute to a more sustainable future.
Congratulations on the day, and in the spirit of Bohr: Keep striving to make the unknown known!“
To watch a video from the Danish magazine, Billed Bladet, please click the link below: